The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold a public hearing in Tucson next Wednesday, giving residents the opportunity to weigh in on proposed pollution controls at six industrial plants in Arizona, including two in the Tucson area.
The proposal calls for Tucson’s largest local power plant, the H. Wilson Sundt Generating Station, to switch exclusively from coal to natural gas by the end of 2017. Tucson Electric Power worked with the EPA on the proposed changes, and TEP officials said they support the measure.
Another facility in the Tucson area, CalPortland Cement Company’s Rillito plant, outside of Marana, will also be required to cut emissions if the measure is adopted.
Not all of the companies affected by the proposed changes were as involved in the drafting of the plan as TEP was.
Colleen McKaughn, an associate director in the air division at the EPA, said input at the hearing will not just come from the general public, but also from the six affected companies.
“One of the reasons we have these hearings is to hear what their opinion of our plan is," she said. "Obviously they know thief facilities best. They run their facilities and there are things about their operations that we couldn’t possibly understand and part of the reason to have a hearing is to explain things that we may have missed."
EPA administrator Gina McCarthy will make a final decision on the measure in June.
The hearing will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Tucson High Magnet School auditorium.